What is the NRA? Well, if we listen to the news media, the NRA is a big, powerful lobbyist for gun manufacturers. Unfortunately, some people believe whatever they see on television or in print. Dumb, but true.
Here is a somewhat dated article on the NRA, 5 facts about the NRA and guns in America (pewresearch.org). Note that there are five million members in the NRA, that 74 percent favor background checks with respect to firearms purchases. Note that these members also favor making private gun sales and sales at gun shows subject to such checks. The problem is getting legislation that creates a system that only does what it is supposed to do. Liberal Democrats want a system that stops people from buying firearms.
Where does the NRA‘s supposedly humongous power come from? It is those five million members. Supposedly, as a front for gun manufacturers, the NRA spends a lot of money lobbying. According to OpenSecrets.org, the NRA spent $5,122,000 (see National Rifle Assn: Summary). That may sound like lots of money, but that does not even put the NRA among the Top Organization Contributors (opensecrets.org). Even some individuals spend more money, Top Individual Contributors: All Federal Contributions.
So what is the takeaway. When news outlets like CNN try to demonize the NRA — even using children to front for them — we should investigate before we believe them. We should remember what the Nazis did to the Jews and Communists did to the bourgeoisie. As an excuse for seizing power they never otherwise would have been trusted with, the Nazis and the Communists spread lies to create enemies of the people. The lies about the NRA are just as perverse.
Note: I (Citizen Tom) am not a member of the NRA. I don’t have the much interest in guns. What I do care about is children. When the news media and political activists use children to front for them, I get angry. I am also not too happy about grieving parents being dragged into this debate over gun control. However, as adults they at least have enough experience to make a rational choice. Whether they do or not is another issue.
How The Gun Industry Funnels Tens Of Millions Of Dollars To The NRA (businessinsider.com) sounds awful.
Since 2005, the gun industry and its corporate allies have given between $20 million and $52.6 million to it through the NRA Ring of Freedom sponsor program. Donors include firearm companies like Midway USA, Springfield Armory Inc, Pierce Bullet Seal Target Systems, and Beretta USA Corporation. Other supporters from the gun industry include Cabala’s, Sturm Rugar & Co, and Smith & Wesson.
The NRA also made $20.9 million — about 10 percent of its revenue — from selling advertising to industry companies marketing products in its many publications in 2010, according to the IRS Form 990.
Additionally, some companies donate portions of sales directly to the NRA. Crimson Trace, which makes laser sights, donates 10 percent of each sale to the NRA. Taurus buys an NRA membership for everyone who buys one of their guns. Sturm Rugar gives $1 to the NRA for each gun sold, which amounts to millions. The NRA’s revenues are intrinsically linked to the success of the gun business. (from here)
What is the NRA doing? It is doing what almost any organization of hobbyists/sportsmen would do. No shenanigans. Just merchants trying to establishment relationships with the people who use their products.
Does the NRA lobby to protect gun rights? Of course, it does, but the abuse of gun rights does not help the gun industry. It just puts their investments at risk.